If you can borrow from the best, then do it!
Thanks to this whole internets thing, the number of resources available and accessible to equestrians has increased significantly. While I don’t recommend solving all your problems with Google, good information does exist online.
So, Eli typically struggles with tight combinations. I knew gridwork could help the issue, but there is no reason for me or my trainer to struggle with devising some kind of exercise to help Eli moderate his stride more quickly. A timely scroll through my facebook feed Friday night led me to a vertical-to-vertical exercise explained by Bernie Traurig.
My trainer and I set up the second exercise from the article the next morning, modified (as suggested by Mr. Traurig) to accommodate Eli’s stride to a certain degree. I’m posting a three-video progression here, but all of the video is on my Vimeo.
My primary goal was to leave Eli alone and not try to fix his stride myself–let the grid do its job. Micromanaging your horse is BAD. My trainer repeatedly had to yell for me to keep my hands down, and let Eli figure out the exercise. I think by the end, it worked.
I also realized after going over the video that I am now dissatisfied with the running martingale attachment. While it may have been useful for a few months set as it is and stabilized by the breastplate, I think it is a few inches too short now for Eli, and I plan on switching to a different running, separate from the breastplate so that it has more give and an inch or two longer, the next time we jump. Horse changes, tack changes–that’s how it goes!